Please note: For PL-D cameras, please see: Thermal Considerations for PL-D Cameras.
Pixelink cameras dissipate between 3 and 7 Watts (see Power). Heat affects image quality and results in visible pixel noise. Fixed pattern noise (hot pixels) will become more visible with increasing temperature - as a general rule of thumb, the sensor's dark current doubles with every 7C to 10C increase in temperature. For optimal image quality and performance, special attention to heat dissipation is required when mounting the camera. Even when the ambient temperature is not excessive, proper heat sinking is required to prevent the camera from heating itself to a temperature much higher than ambient.
All cameras have an internal temperature sensor that can be used to determine if the heat dissipation is adequate. With good heat sinking, the sensor should be around 5º above the ambient temperature.
The enclosed camera should be mounted on a metal plate or fixture using the mounting holes on the front or bottom surface. The metal plate should provide a conduction path to remove the heat from the camera body. The tripod mount accessory is not an adequate mounting plate for this purpose. Clearances for airflow will also help dissipate heat. This is especially important when working with cameras equipped with GigE interfaces. The GigE cameras run hotter than the FireWire and USB versions, and require more attention to proper thermal management.
For mounting dimensions see Enclosed Mechanical Outline.
Board Level Cameras
The two main electronics boards should be mounted on a metal plate or fixture, using the three plated-grounded mounting holes on those boards. The supplied spacers should be between the main boards, and standoffs should be used to raise the bottom main board above the metal plate. The metal plate should provide a conduction path to remove heat from the main electronics boards.
The sensor board should be mounted on a metal plate or fixture, using either the two holes in the metal C-mount, or (if there is no C-mount) using standoffs under the four plated-grounded mounting holes of the sensor board. The mounting hardware may only contact the exposed metal of the four mounting holes. The metal plate should provide a conduction path to remove heat from the sensor board. See images below.
For mounting dimensions see Board Level Mechanical Outline.